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Need Help Deciding Which Lights

Discussion in 'Ask' started by brentmiles2, Dec 1, 2019.

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  1. brentmiles2

    brentmiles2 New Member

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    I plan to use mainly G4 30's and 40's, but I want to make sure I'm making the right choices before ordering. I know I'm probably planning to buy more lights than I need, but I'd rather have too many than not enough. Thanks in advance for any advice. Volt Lighing Home.jpg Volt Lighting Main.jpg Volt Lighting Columns.jpg Volt Lighting 2nd Story.jpg Volt Lighting Trees.jpg
     
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  2. Mesodude2

    Mesodude2 Active Member

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    Phenomenal home, brentmiles2. And from your thoughtful lighting approach, it's obvious you've been doing your homework. I think many of your fixture choices and beam spread estimates are on the money. I have a few recommendations and some suggestions for things I might do differently. For the facade of the house, I'd probably go with the G4 30s if you have low ambient light (which I suspect is the case) and 40s if you have significant ambient light. With the exception of that stonework on the section of the house to the left of the fountain (on which I'd probably use 24°), I think 35° spreads would work great for the facade of the house. Rather than floods (which will probably spill more light inside those windows than you might want), I would opt for low profile spots (mini All Stars, Top Dogs, or even more G4 30s) for the upper floor windows (including the half moon window above the portico) and those other upper wall areas you inquired about. If you choose spots other than the G4s for the upper areas, you'll want to stay as close as possible to the lumens level you're using on the lower portion of your facade. I think the standard 60° optical should work well for all of your trees. Because the canopies are so broad and leafy, if I had it in my budget, I might flank each of those trees with a pair of fixtures fitted with 35° opticals. Fortunately, the optics are very budget-friendly so you can always change them as needed. You didn't ask about area or pathway lighting but I would definitely illuminate the two small shrub gardens flanking the fountain (which I can't imagine you're not already lighting, btw ;-). A few path lights highlighting the contours of the driveway would look great also. If I had that huge blank slate of a driveway, I would definitely use one or two of Volt's shadow bollards to project some artwork onto the ground. Hope this helps.
     
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  3. brentmiles2

    brentmiles2 New Member

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    Thanks Mesodude! Our home sits about 100-120 yards from the road. You are correct, we don't have much of any ambient light. I don't want hot spots (or "spooky" lighting as my wife calls it) but I do want to make sure it is enough light to really be seen from the street.

    With the height (especially the left side of the house) do you think the 30's will be enough to illuminate the higher sections? What about using 40's for the higher sections and 30's everywhere else? Will this help illuminate the higher sections better or will it just cause that area to be more intense? I want to make sure the light stays as even as possible so not sure if mixing the 30's and 40's will make that more difficult or help keep the light consistent or if it will help on the taller sections.
    Volt Lighing Higher Sections.jpg
    I think I will go with your suggestion of using the 30's up high on the gutters. I want to keep it as simple as possible and not mix 15 different styles of lights. I plan to buy a bunch of the optics to be able to change as we do the install to make sure we get the effect I want. You are correct, the fountain in the center of the driveway is lit. We also have 8 trees on each side of the driveway that will be lit with 40's. I like your idea of using two 35 degree spots on the larger trees.

    Thanks again!
    Brent
     
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  4. Mesodude2

    Mesodude2 Active Member

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    You're welcome. First, full disclosure: I'm not a lighting expert and I don't work for Volt. Evan, a Volt rep, is the moderator and weighs in routinely. I usually share my ideas and general suggestions on lighting choice and placement but you reminded me that every home is unique. I live in a three-story red brick colonial with white columns that's probably a third the size of your house. Not only are you dealing with offset gables and different heights, but you also have dark porch columns, and facade walls with different tones, and textures. Because you're opting primarily for fixtures with a fixed brightness and because I suspect your wife will be quite unhappy if the finished project doesn't meet her expectations, I recommend that you wait until Evan chimes in or contact Volt directly before making your purchase. I also think it's a great idea to look at the gallery section on Volt and look architectural lighting examples similar to your home elsewhere online. Having said all that, I understand your concern. You're worried that as the roofline height increases, the light colored trim below the roofline (the eaves cornice, I think it's called) will be noticeably unevenly lit if you use the same fixture to light the entire facade of the house. The thing is, I believe the fixtures you proposed near the top of those higher gables should act as "filler" light that should compensate for the decrease in light from the ground fixtures at that height (if that makes sense). The other thing is, it seems to me that if you have fixtures of differing light levels next to each other, you'll have the same issue--just at ground level. Again, since you have unique challenges (and design potential) with your house, I would wait to hear advice from a lighting professional.
     
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  5. brentmiles2

    brentmiles2 New Member

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    Well thanks again! I've been looking at the gallery photos trying to get an idea of which lights produce which effects. I'm actually pickier than my wife when it comes to lighting. I'm OCD so I'll obsess until I feel confident with what I'm ordering and then I'll order extra to switch out some of the lights as we do the install to make sure I'm getting the look I want... particularly the ones on the 2nd story. I hope Evan will chime in soon. They have a sale going through the 4th and I plan to order by then to save some $.
     
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  6. Mesodude2

    Mesodude2 Active Member

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    I'd been shopping and reading everything I could on the site for a couple of months until they finally tempted me with a first-time buyer 20% discount. They also have a decent sale usually every week or so. If you're worried about missing the deadline, you can always call Volt for purchase guidance when you're ready to place your order. Btw, nothing at all wrong with being picky. For the investment, you want to make sure it's done right and that you won't have to do a whole lot of tweaking and adjusting (especially for your upper level fixtures). And speaking of picky... I bought my lights way back in August and then decided that I didn't want to illuminate our dingy brick walls and dusty shutters. After having the house power washed, I'm now ready (in December!) to start installing my lights this week.
     
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